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Written By Ida

July 2, 2016, 5:45 p.m.(12/3/1003 AR)

It's been a whirlwind couple of days, rubbing elbows with some rather famed members of Arx's society. I've more work now that I may have had in a month's time back home. Wonderful people, almost all of them. Almost. Still suck at all those social niceties and don't envy those who have to deal with that every day!

Written By Arianwen

July 2, 2016, 1:52 p.m.(12/2/1003 AR)

    Like I've been mentioning in the last journal entry, being a courtesan is tough! You've got to make sure you're pretty for the nobles every hour of every day, you've got to act all proper like and refined, and you've got to figure ways to convince them to like you most of all. That's not as easy as it may sound. After all, I'm a Lower Boroughs girl. Those folks don't exactly hang around my Uncle's tavern. Not usually, anyway. They've been awful nice to be so far, but I got a feeling if I stumbled and insulted the wrong sort of noble, I could get myself into some serious trouble! So I need to be mindful of myself, from how I speak, to how I dress, to how I act, and everything in between. You can't believe the amounts of rules and expectations nobles have got to listen to. At least, if they want to be seen as all respectable like. Even greeting is a complicated process in itself.

    I have a mind to suspect this is all for show, and they do it just to put a distance between themselves and normal folk. But if I'm to survive and thrive as a well and true courtesan, I can't slack on my teachings. I've got one or two or three people offering me some much needed advice, but it sometimes feels like there's no end to the teaching in sight. Even my writing has been put into question, and I'm doing my best to write smartly as can be. Anyway, I've got places to be and people to see. I've been invited to attend a big and fancy noblewoman's party, where all the folks wear masks and dance and sing and do the gods know what else. I've got my own mask and pretty dress, so I can't wait to see what people will think! Write some more soon!

Written By Arianwen

July 2, 2016, 1:39 p.m.(12/2/1003 AR)

    I found one! I mean, a man. I mean, a patron. I'm practically a courtysan already! Courtesan, that is. Need to be dottin' me t's and crossin' me i's. Learning to be a courtesan is tough work! So many folks don't be knowing that, and many other folks think we're just some lofty big-headed streetwalkers. But they can't say nothing when it's only me living the lap of luxury. That is, living in the lap of luxury.

    Anyway, I got meself a patron! Myself, in fact. He's blunt, which I don't much mind, since I've been serving drinks to blunt men for most of my life. He's crude, which I don't much mind either. For the same reasons, truth be told. But gods, it is as though the man were sculpted from Jayus' wet dream. He's built like a two-footed ox and towers over most others. You readers may have heard about him. He's that guy that heroically defeated the Thraxian rebel house out there over the yonder Mourning Isles. He wields the famed Tyde battleaxe and is bastard nephew to the High Lord Donrai of House Thrax. You guessed it! He's the one and only Lord Victus Thrax, and my patron. I'm practically a courtesan already.

Written By Viviana

July 2, 2016, 12:41 p.m.(12/2/1003 AR)

I finally got a chance to let loose in a Rite to Gloria against Talen on the tournament grounds. It was exhilarating, Talen is a good match for me, although I wounded him early and it helped swing the fight heavily in my favor. From then on the onus was on him to make a come back while losing blood and I could play it safe and work him down. He stuck with it until unable to continue though, which is commendable. There's nothing quite like a fight to make you feel alive, I feel sorry for the ladies who've never learnt the art of the sword really, although it has done little to satiate my thirst for new adversaries and new challenges.

I heard rumors some thought the fight depended heavily on the quality of our armor? I can only assume they are fairly unfamiliar with the sword art, yet I wonder by what mechanism would they propose to ensure the armor and weapon quality of all combatants were perfectly matched? Would they outlaw the wearing of plate if your opponent were dressed in leather? Outlaw the use of a greatsword if your opponent prefers a longsword? By what standard would they assess the metallurgic properties of one man's plate compared to the other? I should find one of these people to put the question to them, that or challenge them to a duel without armor of any sort I suppose.

Written By Acacia

July 2, 2016, 6:49 a.m.(12/2/1003 AR)

There's a heart-warming and idealistic thought in the concept that you can build something up purely on your own - and then also protect it. That your own sweat, blood and tears, along with any who stand beside you, are enough to grow strong, gain stability, build an 'empire'. But as I explained to someone tonight, it's the idealistic part that makes things complicated, isn't it?

I get it. I do. The thought that you're completely self-sufficient, which makes everything that you work for that much more real. The pride that goes into it when you tell everyone else to fuck off. But the world doesn't actually work that way if you want to expand outside of your own personal box. You have to sacrifice a little in the middle of it. The trick then is to never sacrifice enough that you're a sellout, but never sacrifice too little that you're utterly expendable.

Let's say that you're building a budding business against a competitor down the way -- and there's always competitors down the way. You dedicate your hard work, quality goods or what have you and they produce the same. And what happens when that competitor decides to partner up with other people, or pay them off for protection, and in order to double the profits, it's decided that your little business would be better off gone. This is all hypothetical, so if all else is equal? Pride isn't going to save you and everything that you'd done so far. And should it be decided, it won't protect you and those who depend upon you should things take a turn for the worst. You have to look beyond your little corner, past your sphere.

Business isn't a Rite to Gloria. sure, there might be those who admire pure honorable tasks and that the journey is more important than the end or some other such concept. But that's a luxury. It's a different kind of honor that matters out here than whether or not you were 'fair' to your competititor or opponent; whether or not you tried your best. It's the kind of 'honor' that means that your deals are solid, you know the meaning of beneficial trade, that you knife people for at least a semblance of a reason, that if you're going to cut someone - you do it without wasting breath on threat, your word means something when you give it and your loyalty, when provided, is a specific kind that people know.

But really, no matter how many allies you've cultivated or people you know, one can never be careful enough, nor think themselves too smart or at so high a place that they can't be knocked down. Yet, if you're going to be that cautious to save your theoretically-thriving life and that of those beside you -- you have to remember to live a little too, right?

Written By Kima

July 2, 2016, 3:55 a.m.(12/1/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Audric

Dear Tehom,

Thank you for my new favorite companion.

I can only hope to get such a proud feather stuck into my hat one day.

Audric. Captain-General of the Valorous Few. How many are in the Few, you ask? I don't fucking know. Nobody does.

It is a mystery.

Written By Kima

July 2, 2016, 3:42 a.m.(12/1/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Gareth

My newest student. I'm glad he and I are in agreement of what can be expected. The man is, or appears to be, remarkably straight forward. Quick to remind me of what the Inquisition will be happy to pay for, and I'm quick to listen. It does well to cultivate a friendly relationship with such an individual if you're forced to cultivate one at all.

My father would whole heartedly disapprove, given his adherence to the good ol' family motto.

The guys from where and what was their name again?

I somehow think that the good inquisitor won't have that same sort of mental fog.

Written By Hadrian

July 1, 2016, 10:29 p.m.(12/1/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Arianwen

Are courtesans flowers? Let's say they are, for imagery's sake.

Arianwen Grayhope is a budding courtesan. Lord Victus Thrax is watering her.

What an unfortunate metaphor. Is he grooming her? No, for he is not a cat and she is not a potential heiress.

Let us Lord Victus is a bank and he has given Miss Arianwen a loan. What her business is right now, I do not know, but she seeks to build a new one: she aspires to be a courtesan.

I'm not going to blot that out, it amuses me. What I do not quite understand is the benefit to Miss Arianwen. If someone wrongs her, will he fight for her? That would be terrifying. Perhaps Lord Victus simply has contacts that could prove useful in her apprenticeship. I should ask him next time we meet.

She seemed quite excited about my invitation. Artists and performers, performers and artists: I want them all.

Written By Alarie

July 1, 2016, 10:21 p.m.(12/1/1003 AR)

I have made my first silk dress for Lady Margot. It was a lovely seafoam blue dress with dark blue lace over it and adorned with pearls. She seems to thoroughly love it. I will now make her a corset and slippers to wear. She must be matching! This is exciting for me as others will get to see fashion from the sea. She will also be wearing one of -my- creations and other noblewomen will want to bring me business.

Written By Hadrian

July 1, 2016, 10:05 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Nadia

I also met the lovely Duchess Nadia Nightgold at the Menagerie. I have never met a lady of the North quite like her. She is either too trusting (I think not) or recognizes honesty when she hears it. A useful skill, that.

I am curious what it is exactly they distill in her holding. I may exchange some of Southport's finest for some of her spirits.

Written By Hadrian

July 1, 2016, 9:57 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Aurelian

Day Five of observation. The gray-skinned creature appeared less inclined to tolerate my presence today. To test whether its reactions were truly those of hostility and defense, I touched one of the wooden staves ringing its enclosure.

It is certainly defensive, and it certainly believes I am encroaching on its territory, even when not touching the edge. He must conceive himself as dominant even in areas he cannot physically reach. He is like a young-blooded heir apparent, who thinks the lines on maps dividing the land mark what he may someday control.

It's adorable.

Oh, I also discovered a Scholar of Vellichor. Prince Aurelian Valardin is rather bookish - people eventually do resemble their pets. But who cares about his bedside manner? The audacity he displays in choosing the goal he has for his life's work is admirable.

I doubt he can recover much predating the Great Fire here in the city, but I cannot claim to know its sewers, catacombs, and cellars. He might have more luck elsewhere - if the shavs haven't already desecrated what ruins there are.

I wish him well. The world would be a better place if more people attempted the impossible. He may never reach the top of his mountain, but he will climb higher than those who don't dare to look up.

If the shavs don't get him. I must remind him of the need for additional guards, if he leaves the city.

Common sense? Yes. But sometimes the Scholars are so busy learning about the past that they forget the present.

Written By Kima

July 1, 2016, 9:44 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

So I heard Viviana utterly trashed Talen. Sort of disappointed I couldn't have been within the crowd. There's always next time.

Can't say this week was all that eventful. I endured the usual early morning wake ups, the bad breakfast, and thoroughly average lessons with my students. I know, I know, you must surely be thinking that my life is naught but adventure, but it just isn't so. It's not as bad as war, mind you, which is ninety-eight percent waiting interspersed with one percent action and one percent shit your own trousers fear.

Have you ever been in a battle before?


Well let me tell you a little story before you next scoff when I tell you something. About five years ago, now, near the confluence of the Lycene split, we were ambushed pretty badly. I remember hiding amongst corpses, filling my mouth with dirt, and holding my breath until I thought my lungs would burst while the shav fuckers went and scalped the red heads.

Hah, but you didn't know they liked to do that, did you?

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:55 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

In a contest of speed, strength and swordplay, Lady Viviana Pravus and Talen Artiglio met in the great tournament arena of Arx. There, as Swords, they competed for the glory of their respective houses. The Grand Duchess of the Lyceum looked on and watched as her Sword fell, but the match was won with good grace from both sides and they were shone upon favourably by the church, officiated by Seraph Ailith herself.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:48 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Shrike

An inquisitor and a woman of some interest, Talen had met Shrike only twice in passing a few weeks after his travels to Arx. In that time he had acknowledged that this individual was constantly on the lookout for information that would serve her cause. In exchange, Talen had sought to secure her assistance on a few Velenosan matters of his own. The arrangement seemed solid.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:44 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Calista

Lady Calista Fidante, one of the many nobility of the Lyceum that was wound up in a feud. Sister to Leo Fidante, the family bore a grudge with the Malvici and for that reason Talen was most curious about the interaction between the two. Having only dined one in her presence, there was much to learn about the noblewoman.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:39 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Malavaunt

A man of curious ambitions, not the kind which spans the length and breadth of the Boroughs. No, this fellow begun as a contact that Talen took to reaching out to in order to secure one of his first sets of light leather armour upon arrival in Arx. There was more than skill to this man however, for he spoke of possessing the experience to work most any material, even that of Shadowmeld, in his prime.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:37 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

Lord Victus, a man of large physical presence, social stature and appetite. Though he lacked exclusively in all the refinement Talen had taken to appreciating as a man of the Lyceum provinces, the bluntness of the oft-timed Thrax allies held a measure of appeal to the Sword of Lenosia. From passing interaction to an eventual business arrangement, the relationship between the two had only started to develop but a short time after Talen's arrival in Arx.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:29 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Valencia

Princess Valencia was wed into the Redrain family in diplomatic marriage and that, it seems, was no small matter to Talen. To lose those so capable at playing the political games of the Lyceum was always a sad time. It nevertheless meant that every interaction held some measure of fresh intrigue, however, for the two lived in very different spheres of the world. Where before they took one another for granted at the palace, it was Talen's hope they would have more stories to tell each time they crossed paths, instead.

Written By Talen

July 1, 2016, 8:16 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Eira

Eira had proven herself to Talen as not only a capable sellsword, but a valued instructor. Known to have trained with her on more than one occasion, the Sword had even invited her to the manor of the Great House Velenosa to take audience with them as prospective employers. It was clear he intended to watch her progress in Arx and having the Crownsworn woman in retained service for the family appeared mutually beneficial.

Written By Gustave

July 1, 2016, 7:50 p.m.(11/28/1003 AR)

Wood for Setarco, and pike and sling to see them safely on their way. It is good to see that our reputation as warriors has extended beyond Telmar and Valardin, though such contracts should probably be treated with great scrutiny lest we be thought of as mercenaries. Still, there is benefit in deriving both coin and reputation for discipline. Leave gallantry to our lieges: we will pelt the enemy with stones until he flees or until he throws himself on our pikes. Its not flashy, not particularly glorious, but it works. And apparently people will pay for that. Will wonders never cease.

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